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September 18, 2012

Pulitzer Prize Winning Novelist Junot Díaz To Speak at Carter Center on Friday

Literary Loser: Heartbreak leads to heart-rending prose in Díaz’s latest masterwork

By Nancy Staab

Díaz will read from his latest collection of searing short stories, “This Is How You Lose Her,” based loosely (or not so loosely) on his St. Augustine-style cheating confessions and recent breakup, this Friday Sept. 21 at the Carter Center.

Pulitzer Prize winning author Junot Díaz and his latest book Pulitzer Prize winning author Junot Díaz and his latest book "This Is How You Lose Her."

Dominican-American author Junot Díaz, best known for his semi-autobiographical, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, brings his literary brio to the Carter Center this Friday for a talk and book-signing. The 40-something writer may have some pedigree credentials like a Pulitzer Prize and posts as a creative writing professor at M.I.T and fiction editor at Boston Review, but he’s lost nothing of his street edge, immigrant roots, lapses into slang, and raw emotion in his latest collection of short stories, This Is How You Lose Her.  Here is Entertainment Weekly reviewer Annie Barrett’s assessment of his new collection in a Feb. 27, 2012 piece:

“The stories in This Is How You Lose Her, by turns hilarious and devastating, raucous and tender, lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weaknesses of our all-too-human hearts. They capture the heat of new passion, the recklessness with which we betray what we most treasure, and the torture we go through – “the begging, the crawling over glass, the crying” – to try to mend what we’ve broken beyond repair. They recall the echoes that intimacy leaves behind, even where we thought we did not care. They teach us the catechism of affections: that the faithlessness of the fathers is visited upon the children; that what we do unto our exes is inevitably done in turn unto us; and that loving thy neighbor as thyself is a commandment more safely honored on platonic than erotic terms. Most of all, these stories remind us that the habit of passion always triumphs over experience, and that “love, when it hits us for real, has a half-life of forever.”

Tough-as-nails The New York Times book critic Michiko Katukani calls him “One of contemporary fiction’s most distinctive and irresistible voices.”  Always one to keep his readers on their toes, Díaz is currently at work on his second long novel, a sci-fi epic entitled Monstro.

Don’t miss this heavily-accoladed, literary phenom when he comes to the Carter Center, Friday Sept. 21 at 7PM. $29 per person, includes a signed copy of Díaz’s new book.  Tickets available at event sponsor A Cappella bookshop or:  www.brownpapertickets.com/event/267953